, Volume 114, Issue 4, pp 286-294
Date: 08 Jul 2005

Molecular cytogenetics in haematological malignancy: current technology and future prospects

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Cytogenetics has played a pivotal role in haematological malignancy, both as an aid to diagnosis and in identifying recurrent chromosomal rearrangements, an essential prerequisite to identifying genes involved in leukaemia and lymphoma pathogenesis. In the late 1980s, a series of technologies based around fluorescence in situ hybridisation (FISH) revolutionised the field. Interphase FISH, multiplex-FISH (M-FISH, SKY) and comparative genomic hybridisation (CGH) have emerged as the most significant of these. More recently, microarray technologies have come to prominence. In the acute leukaemias, the finding of characteristic gene expression signatures corresponding to biological subgroups has heralded gene expression profiling as a possible future alternative to current cytogenetic and morphological methods for diagnosis. In the lymphomas, high-resolution array CGH has successfully identified new regions of deletion and amplification, providing the prospect of disease-specific arrays.

Review related to the 15th International Chromosome Conference (ICC XV), held in September 2004, Brunel University, London, UK
Communicated by D. Griffin